Monday, August 17, 2020

When Will Wave 2 Begin And How Bad Will It Be?


Europe seems to have gotten through the first phase of the pandemic relatively well-- at least compared to Trumpland. The virus burned through their population pretty early and pretty fast and then mostly died down as people followed social distancing and mask rules to an extent unheard of in most of the U.S. Even including Russia, most of which is part of Asia, Europe has had 3,161,778 cases, compared to America's 5,539,841 cases.

Then, about a month ago, as Europe started reopening and people started becoming lax about social distancing, cases started rising again in country after country. New cases in Western Europe Friday ---> Saturday and ---> Sunday:
Spain +2,987 ---> no report ---> no report
France +2,846 ---> +3,310 ---> +3,015
Germany +1,505 ---> +704 ---> +519
U.K. +1,440 ---> +1,077 ---> +1,040
Netherlands +636 ---> 655 ---> +507
Italy +574 ---> +627 ---> +479
Belgium +544 ---> +922 ---> +756
Europeans may not be quite as idiotic as Americans... but there are plenty of idiots. Over the weekend, in two hot-beds for Wave II-- Madrid and Brussels-- hundreds of anti-mask protestors demonstrated their anger at renewed mask mandates. Spain is back in a full fledged pandemic, so bad that the government has stopped reporting out-of-control statistics. The idiot behavior there could only be compared to the state of Georgia here in the U.S. Hundreds of imbeciles in Madrid, clapping and chanting "freedom" rallied at Plaza de Colón yesterday, holding signs that read "The virus does not exist" and "Masks kill" and "We are not afraid." In Brussels, at least one moron had the sign "It's my body, it's my choice." Only Sweden has more cases per million residents than Spain (7,675) and Belgium (6,754) in Western Europe. Belgium has the most deaths per million, followed by Spain, among European countries.

Here in the U.S., the CDC now reports that "The number and rate of cases in children [ages 0-17] in the United States have been steadily increasing from March to July 2020. The true incidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection in children is not known due to lack of widespread testing and the prioritization of testing for adults and those with severe illness... It is unclear whether children are as susceptible to infection by SARS-CoV-2 compared with adults and whether they can transmit the virus as effectively as adults. Recent evidence suggests that children likely have the same or higher viral loads in their nasopharynx compared with adults and that children can spread the virus effectively in households and camp settings. Due to community mitigation measures and school closures, transmission of SARS-CoV-2 to and among children may have been reduced in the United States during the pandemic in the spring and early summer of 2020. This may explain the low incidence in children compared with adults. Comparing trends in pediatric infections before and after the return to in-person school and other activities may provide additional understanding about infections in children."

CNN reported that "In Georgia, where several districts reopened in recent weeks, more than 1,000 students and staff were asked to quarantine following cases of coronavirus or exposures to someone infected. A 15-year-old boy from the Atlanta area became the second-youngest person to die from Covid-19 in the state, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health (GDPH). Earlier this month a 7-year-old boy from Savannah died... More than 7,000 children have tested positive in Alabama, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health website. Three pediatric deaths have been reported in Alabama, Dr. Karen Landers, Area Health Officer for ADPH, told CNN in an email. The deaths were two infants and one teenager, all with underlying health problems."

With ideological Trumpist governors eager for genocide-- particularly Brian Kemp (GA), but also Ron DeSantis and Greg Abbott (TX)-- we'll be able to watch as unsafe openings of schools continue to lead to big increases of cases. These are the half dozen Trumpist governors who appear to be working hardest to kill as many people as they can-- reported new cases on Saturday and ---> Sunday (if they can be believed as legitimate; I have my doubts):
Greg Abbott (TX) +8,058 ---> +2,841
Ron DeSantis (FL) +6,352 ---> +3,779
Brian Kemp (GA) +3,273 ---> +1,862
Bill Lee (TN) +1,289 ---> +1,961
Kay Ivey (AL) +1,271 ---> +853
Henry McMaster (SC) +1,041 ---> +615
Trumptards by Chip Proser

Reporter Megan Marples, also reporting for CNN, looked at Pandemic denial: Why some people can't accept Covid-19's realities. And it isn't only because they are Fox-viewing Trumptards with pitifully low IQs. "With so much information available about the severity of the coronavirus and the need to follow guidelines," wrote Marples, "some people still refuse to accept reality. The denial manifests itself in many ways, whether that be refusing to wear a mask or attending large gatherings. Using denial as a coping mechanism is not always a bad choice. Short-term, it gives someone the time to adjust to a situation. When it becomes a long-term crutch and puts others in harm's way, it can be dangerous. There's also a psychology term called rationalism, which people often confuse with denial. It's a defense mechanism where people try to justify unacceptable behavior. With over 30 years of experience in their profession, psychologists Eve and Mark Whitmore have spent recent years studying misinformation and confirmation bias. Eve Whitmore currently works as a clinical psychologist in Stow, Ohio, and Mark Whitmore works as an associate professor in the College of Business Administration at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio."
CNN: Why do some people deny or rationalize?

Mark Whitmore: Whether you react to situations with stress and anxiety or you react more positively by figuring out how to deal with them has to do with your sense of control over those situations. When the pandemic was first announced, there was very little information and we didn't know what kinds of precautions we should be taking.

Since then, the pandemic has progressed. We've gotten more information about ways to protect ourselves and have some sense of control by the types of behaviors we engage in.

But back in March and April, we didn't have that much information and some of the information was contradictory, and that contributed to people's feelings of not being in control. Some people felt a lot of anxiety and stress, and at that point, we have to figure out how to deal with that so we can function. For some, that's creating a myth about the pandemic or simply seeking out information that will reinforce their viewpoint that it's not really as severe as people are saying.

CNN: How can being in denial or using rationalization be dangerous?

MW: Both denial and rationalization are considered to be maladaptive, meaning they don't help the individual adapt to the source of the threat. It can actually expose them to an even greater chance of whatever that threatening thing is.

In the case of the pandemic, you could become ill because if you're in denial, you're rationalizing the severity of the situation. Then you probably won't take the proper necessary precautions to protect yourself.

Eve Whitmore: We've observed people saying, "I want to get the virus and just get it over with." There are also people traveling across the United States to different states, even though it's not recommended, because they don't believe Covid-19 is that bad. They can be asymptomatic and bring it back to their own state.

We also heard people saying that they thought they were already exposed to the virus because someone in their family was sick with some undiagnosed illness and now they think it was Covid-19, and therefore they think they are fine because they should be immune.

CNN: Where do people learn these behaviors?

EW: These constructs develop in children and are typically reinforced by parents or guardians. By about the age of 6 or 7, a child is able to make sense of what's fact and what's fiction, but in our culture, fiction is reinforced, often with parents and children. You know that there's a Santa Claus and an Easter Bunny. Some of that is part of development and it helps children with fantasy, and fantasy can be a good thing. But sometimes, we see it can become extreme.

MW: The key thing is not so much Santa Claus. It's that as parents, we teach children to face decisions, not with facts but with belief or faith. As parents we did the whole Santa Claus thing, but we also taught our children about how to make decisions based on factual information.

When adults have been raised in an environment where unfounded beliefs were a part of their upbringing, they are much more likely to believe in conspiracy theories and hoaxes. They also tend to make decisions based on hunches and preconceived ideas and biases as opposed to using factual information.

CNN: If you have a friend or family member who isn't following proper safety guidelines because they're in denial or rationalizing, how can you help them?

MW: This also gets at confirmatory bias, where you create a bubble by surrounding yourself with people who believe what you believe, and you search out information that supports the way you believe.

That would help would be for a person to receive contradictory information, things that contradict their viewpoints. A person needs to be forced to face it and do something about it. This is best done in phases. Start out by presenting the individual with contradictory, factual information that's not so threatening along with what they can do to protect themselves.

Once they begin to accept it, then you escalate the intensity of the realistic information in stages until they more fully accept it and achieve a greater sense of control.

EW: You can also lead by example. They can see that you're wearing a mask washing your hands and keeping social distance. They can also see you following the mandated rules of your state.
Sunday morning, Politico reported that the Trump Regime is planning to cut the military health care by $2.2 billion, "a reduction that some defense officials say could effectively gut the Pentagon’s health care system during a nationwide pandemic... [T]wo senior defense officials say the effort has been rushed and driven by an arbitrary cost-savings goal, and argue that the cuts to the system will imperil the health care of millions of military personnel and their families as the nation grapples with Covid-19 [Trumpist Defense Secretary Mark] Esper and his deputies have argued that America's private health system can pick up the slack."

In all likelihood Trump will make a big noisy deal out of stopping that-- until after the election. Since former military officer and current Trump bootlicker Donald J Bacon never breaks with Trump on anything, I asked his Democratic challenger, Kara Eastman, for a comment on the Pentagon plans. "This issue demands more attention and an immediate response from all elected officials," she told me. "By arbitrarily cutting the health care benefits of those who’ve bravely served our country, Esper’s proposal betrays the very values of our nation. It’s unfortunate that Rep. Bacon is silent on this issue while he waits for Trump to give him his talking points."

Goal ThermometerWest Virginia progress Cathy Kunkel, running for the seat occupied by Trump-enabler Alex Mooney pointed out that "Providing health care for military personnel is part of paying for the true cost of war. It is a telling statement of priorities that this administration would push for cutting the Pentagon's healthcare budget, but not for cutting unnecessary military spending. Congress must ensure that this attack on our military personnel and their families does not move forward."

"Healthcare, said Texas progressive Julie Oliver, "is the reason I’m running for Congress. And our district has one of the largest populations of veterans in the country. It is critical that we live up to our commitments to veterans and ensure that they get the highest quality care-- and we need someone in Congress who will fight back against any threats to cut healthcare for veterans and active-duty families in the middle of a pandemic. Today, veterans struggle with a host of service-related issues, including rates of unemployment and homelessness that far exceed the national average. Too many veterans suffer quietly from invisible wounds of war like PTSD and traumatic brain injury, and when left untreated, these combat-induced injuries lead to the elevated levels of depression, substance abuse and suicide we’re seeing among today’s veterans. What we don’t need right now is lip service-- we need action, and real Congressional oversight, so that we have accountability and transparency in how veterans and military families get the care they have earned and deserve."

Tomorrow is a big day for Adam Christensen-- a 3-way primary in his race to replace Ted Yoho in north central Florida. Adam is the progressive in the race-- and the favorite to win. "This shouldn’t even be a question," he tole me this morning. "Every single person in the United States should have healthcare especially in a pandemic. If they want to cut something from the budget, let’s try not dropping bombs in Somalia. Or stop ordering new fighter jets that we don’t need. People’s health is what matters, and if you try to take that away from them they will fight with everything that they have. People are tired of politicians that say they care but then don’t do anything. It’s time for Democrats to fight back and not just beg to be treated fairly."

Labels: , , , ,


At 6:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Whitmore danced all around and tried very hard not to say that those who refuse to take simple precautions are just dumber than shit.

"maladaptive" is a fancy word for dumber than shit.

At 9:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What this proves is that the citizens of the EU are no smarter than the average American.

No wonder humanity is dying.

At 11:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

6:36 is displaying his excrement fixation very well today, as usual. I feel bad that his toilet training was traumatic.

At 11:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I suspect if you dig into this that you'll probably find that there is messaging and money behind these campaigns that crosses borders. As in the U.S., however, these protests do not reflect mainstream opinion.

At 12:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

11:10 is displaying his excrement consumption fixation very well today, as usual.


Post a Comment

<< Home